Photo by Isabella Gong
Written by Sam Doughton
District of Columbia Quidditch Club (DCQC) raced out to an early lead in the round of 32 on Sunday morning, riding the momentum of a face break offense into a 150*-30 win over Penn State and a Sweet 16 berth.
In a match-up of two Mid-Atlantic rivals, keeper Andrew McGregor gave DCQC an early 30-0 lead as he used his lethal midrange game coupled with driving dunks on no bludgers to score. Penn State was able to strike back with a set play on offense, but DCQC used the overload to fast break and keep the three goal advantage at 40-10.
Strong beater play set up DCQC’s offense throughout the entire game, as the team kept control against multiple Nittany Lion attacks while also preventing scores. This lead to several fast break opportunities, which were executed with almost surgical precision as DCQC built a solid lead before snitch came on pitch.
“We love to run on teams,” said DCQC coach Erin Mallory. “If we can run, we do, because we’ve got some big guys, and the girls will streak with them and get the nice finishes.”
Two quick dunks back to back made it 60-10 for DCQC, and a fast break with about 12 minutes gone featured nifty cross hoop passing on the break and a dunk with the Penn State beater out of position. A scrappy goal from Coach Erin Mallory right by the hoops just before the snitch came on pitch gave DCQC a 70 point advantage.
With the beaters distracted by snitch play, Penn State was able to snag a couple of goals just after the 18 minute mark, sandwiching a DCQC goal of a shot from behind the hoops to make it 90-30. Penn State put in a strong effort to prevent a snitch catch, using a seeker and beaters to box out DCQC for most of snitch play. Ultimately, the necessity of keeping DCQC’s 6’5” seeker Darren Creary off of the snitch left too many opportunities for DCQC to score, as DCQC attacked often on no bludger situations to build up its lead to 120-30.
Briefly after the one-armed handicap, Creary leaped around the defensive seeker, using his long arms to catch the snitch and earn the victory at 150*-30. DCQC will go on to face Texas State in the Sweet 16.